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Shell keeps Prelude under wraps

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Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 23.09.25The Anglo-Dutch giant has never disclosed Prelude’s capital cost or start-up date

Peter Klinger: October 13, 2015

Just a year out from market expectations of first gas, Royal Dutch Shell is giving nothing away about the pace of progress at its revolutionary Prelude floating LNG operation.

Shell has sent out its regular update of the mega-project, which comprises construction of the industry-changing floating processing plant in Samsung’s Geoje shipyard in South Korea and a gas-condensate well and subsea pipeline network in the Browse Basin off the Kimberley.

Shell’s update said the second-last module had been installed on the Prelude floater, while in the Browse Basin the focus was on installing flow lines and pipeline end terminations.

The Anglo-Dutch giant has never disclosed Prelude’s capital cost or start-up date other than to regularly hint late next year should be the time of first gas.

A spokeswoman yesterday would not discuss construction progress, which comes against a backdrop of productivity challenges in shipyards in Geoje and nearby Okpo by rival oil and gas companies.

Inpex has been forced to flag a delay to completion of its $US37.5 billion Ichthys LNG project in part because of delays at Geoje and Okpo, where its central processing facility and floating production, storage and offloading vessel are being built.

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